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New bill on transgenders soon

June 12, 2015
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NEW DELHI: A legislation to empower transgenders by recognizing them as a special category with rights would be brought in the monsoon session of Parliament, social justice minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said on Thursday.

The bill is likely to deal with social inclusion, rights and entitlements, skill development and prevention of abuse for transgenders.

It would be a follow-up on the private member’s bill on transgenders that was passed by Rajya Sabha in the budget session, an unusual development of an unofficial bill being carried trough.

Gehlot said the bill was being prepared after four detailed discussions by a special committee that looked into its likely provisions.

While the Centre would also take up in Lok Sabha the private bill of DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, it is likely to push the official legislation for passage.

The issue of the rights of transgenders shot into focus when the Supreme Court in April 2014 recognized the group as “third category”, ruling that they would have access to basic rights like education and employment. Till then, transgenders had to identify themselves as “male” or “female”.

The SC had said that absence of a law recognizing the transgenders could not be the ground to discriminate against them, adding that they be categorized as social and educationally backward communities.

The observation set the stage for their recognition as an OBC group eligible for reservations in education and employment. However, the Centre has sought clarification from the SC on treating them as OBCs.

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